Between parties, last-minute studying, or pulling an all-nighter to finish a paper, the typical life of a student can have a huge impact on sleep. Stress caused by school, social life, and relationships contributes to widespread sleep deprivation among students.
Now, with exam mode in full swing, many university and college students will be even more sleep deprived and may be feeling burnt out. This is a result of exam stress, combined with poor sleep habits, likely a fast food/ junk food diet, and limited exercise. Although most students are aware of the fact that pulling all-nighters is generally not a good idea, sometimes the stress of exams can make one think that it’s worth it. It is important to remember that sleep deprivation reduces the ability to consolidate memories – be it a chemistry formula, author’s quote, or any other bits of information students are desperately trying to memorize.
The benefit of a good night’s sleep is not only limited to improved concentration and problem solving, which will help students to succeed on exams. It will also boost your immune system and improve your mood and attitude, thus maintaining healthy relationships with friends and roommates.
Here are a few pieces of advice for capitalizing on sleep benefits which will help burnt-out students to perform better on their exams…
- To most students, caffeine seems like an obvious solution for staying awake during exam time. But try not to let caffeine consumption get too out of hand, especially later in the day. It will prevent you from falling asleep at night, and could make you feel more jittery and anxious than you already are about exams.
- Create a routine – A daily schedule will help you to prioritize tasks, and keep your body-clock in rhythm, which in turn will help you to fall asleep at night.
- In your schedule, make some time for “winding down” before bed – This can include having a soothing cup of herbal tea or hot milk, relaxing in a warm bath, or some light reading (unrelated to school studying.)
- Stay away from alcohol – If you think a pint of beer or a mixed drink will help to ease your anxiety, be aware that while alcohol may help you initially fall asleep, it is likely to cause awakenings and disturbance to sleep throughout the night.
- Take care of yourself – Don’t let personal hygiene, your diet, or exercise habits fall by the wayside. These factors, all of which lead to quality sleep, will help you to be at your best and tackle the added stress of exam time.